It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the Hudson Valley of New York and we had just finished having dinner with our daughter in preparation for her commute back to Vermont and Green Mountain College. My husband and I were standing on the deck in front of the house waving goodbye as she pulled out of the driveway.
Our sights turned to a young woman walking up the driveway, her long blonde hair tucked under a cap and her thin sweater wrapped tightly around her slight frame. It was freezing cold but she was without a coat yet still smiling and acting like an innocent kid, seeking attention as she spoke,
“Hey guys, it sure is chilly here in New York today.
Was that your daughter that you were waving to – I am someone’s daughter and I am looking for friendly folks who don’t bite my head off while I speak to them about the opportunity to lend me a helping hand.”
What followed was a serious conversation with this young lady as we tried to convince her that there was a serious scam going on. Did she know? After several moments of discussion – I wasn’t so sure. I asked her if she was getting paid for her services and she admitted that they give her “room and board.” Imagine that, hours of pounding the pavement for room and board.
She ran from the porch and down the street. My husband and I got into the car and tried to follow her but she seemed to have vanished. We did find another young man wandering the neighborhood, soliciting unsuspecting compassionate souls while he told his “sad story” of needing money to go to college, being a long way from his Portland, Oregon home and trying to win a trip to Amsterdam. This kid was a real loser.
Anyway, we ended up at the neighbor’s home who revealed that he had just been ripped off by the young man. What ensued was a series of 911 phone calls, the police came and the young man and his crew chief were apprehended.
This is the video from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) – please take a moment to watch it here. Twelve thousand complaints have flooded the BBB regarding door-to-door sales of magazine subscriptions.
Call the BBB or go online to www.bbb.org and check out the company before purchasing anything from anyone selling door-to-door. And, if you do get scammed, call the local authorities.
The best advice – do not answer the door.